After 3 months using DuckDuckGo

Past October I read Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares , an amazing book about how to get customers (and more, you should read it). Once of the things I discovered in the book was DuckDuckGo, a search engine, which differentiation with the others is that it doesn’t track you. So you can be surfing along their results and don’t have to worry about your privacy (from the search engine side).

ddg1

I like the idea, I love privacy. I didn’t start using social networks until some months ago, but I thought most of people don’t care about this or they are conscious about all you iterations are been tracked for ones or another, so I don’t know if the people who use DuckDuckGo, do it because their key differentiation.

The Interface

I think the interface is what engaged me. I used Google and I don’t miss any of their features, almost are replicated. DuckDuckGo’s really minimalist but it has lot of useful details who make your experience more comfortable.

Checks when you click in a result.

When you click in a search result, the result is marked with a check, so you can know if  you already visited it. I found this really useful recently when I was looking for LinkedIn profiles with their advanced search syntax. I had to look at several results and when I changed the search keywords, some results were recurrent.

ddg2

Twitter-style triggered infinite scroll

This is amazing, once you get used to this and you have to come back to Google and navigate between result pages you will know what I’m talking about.

This is useful when you have to look at several results. Because I wanted to see lot of LinkedIn profiles I noticed how useful this can be.

Advertisement

I never see more than one ads per search, I don’t know if this can be considered a featured or it is just they don’t have many advertiser still. I don’t mind if they put more ads, they have to monetize their product. Maybe because it is an infinite scroll they should put the ads in a sidebar which go along with you when you make scroll. Right now their ads are really well differentiated from the results as you can see in the previous screenshot.

I think currently in DuckDuckGo you have a defined segment of “early adopters who care about their privacy”. So if your product is related to it, I’m sure you can promote there without worry about keywords and reach lot of potential customers.

And more…

There are many more details that contribute to make a user experience while you are using their search engine like the about / images / video / news widget that you get, some times you don’t have to leave their web to get what you was looking for. Or the favicon of the site in the results, or tags like official in the official search result for certain brand…

Also they have a great community, but I din’t participate there, so I can’t tell, but it looks very active. I got answer directly from their founders in a question I had about advanced search.

It will be great to know more things about their startup. I know, they want to reach 1% of the total users of internet using their search engine. I would love to know how close they are. Also if the users who are using DuckDuckGo do because the key differentiation that the are offering (privacy). For me is a plus, but the real reason I’m using them in all my devices is because I’m very comfortable with their interface (well, also because I think Google has too much power over us :) ).

Are you using DuckDuckGo, what are your impressions about it? If not, you should give it a try!

  • Miles Varghese

    great post man. curious to see what their long term strategy is as well. 1% of web users would be a strong accomplishment. i haven’t used it yet (probably going to die a chrome user) but i like the infinite scroll. surprised google hasn’t adopted some of these things off of them

    • brbordallo

      Hey Miles,
      Nice to see you around.
      They have a partnership with Yandex, i don’t if it is only one of their sources or part of their strategy.
      And yes, Google need the infinite scroll, I use now DDG 90% of the times and when I come back to Google and see the pagination it feels annoying.